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First Year Crim Law review

4 elements to reduce Murder to Manslaughter

1. ∆ acted in sudden heat of passion
2. Adequate Provocation
3. ∆ did not have reasonable opportunity to "cool off"
2. There is a causal link b/t provocation, passion and homicide

Mens Rea

Culpable mental state

Purposely - committing the act w/ the conscious objective to cause result
Knowingly- a result is knowingly caused when ∆ is aware that it is practically certain that his conduct will cause such result
Recklessly- consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk which is gross deviation from standard conduct.
Negligently- creating a substantial and unjustifiable risk, where the actor should have been aware of the danger ans is a gross deviation from the standard conduct which reasonable person would have been aware of.

General Intent

intent to do a proscribed act, Not necessary to show you had some particular purpose

Specific Intent

intent to do some further act or achieve additional consequence.


failure to act to prevent harm,
satisfies actus reus

Mistake of Fact

Generally a way out (reasonable) if you can negate PURPOSE, KNOWLEDGE, RECKLESSNESS, or NEGLIGENCE of a given statute.

MPC on Provocation (EED)

Reduces murder to manslaughter if:
1. actor kills under the influence of a "extreme emotional disturbance"
2. for which there is a reasonable explanation or excuse
(long period of trama, brooding victim.)

Actus Reus C/L

movement that is willed or directed by the actor

Actus Reus C/L

Bodily Movement that could be voluntary
(unconscious individuals are not responsible for their acts.)


A defense that indicates that society believes that the ∆'s conduct was morally good, socially desirable or not wrongful.
1. Self-defense
2. Battered Women Syndrome
3. Protection of Property
4. Necessity


A defense that indicates that although ∆'s committed the elements of an offense, and ∆'s conduct was wrongful, the law wont blame them for the wrongful conduct.
Bases on some disability
Involuntary actions
action related to Cognitive Deficiencies
actions related to Colitional Deficiencies

Mistake of Law

Not a defense, unless relying on a statute judicial opinion or assurance of public official.

Felony-Murder Rule

a person is guilty of murder if she kills another person, even accidentally, during the commission or attempted commission of any felony.

C/L Rape

∆'s has sexual intercourse
with a women not his wife
with physical force or threat of physical force and
without her consent

MPC Insanity

A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if, at the time of the act, as a result of mental disease of defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality (wrongfulness) of his conduct. (modified by Lyons- no volitional prong.)

McNaughten's Rule

A person is legally insane if, at the time of the act, he was laboring under such defect of reason, from disease of the mind as
1. not to know the nature of and quality of the act he was committing
2. if he did know it, he did not know what he was doing was wrong.


a person commits an attempt if, acting with the same state of mind otherwise required for commission of the target offense,
he purposely causes (or believes he will cause) the result under the same circumstances required by the target offense,
and he take a substantial step to commit the crime.


sexual intercourse
force or threat of force
without consent

Mens Rea for Rape

Subjective Test- did the ∆ believe he had consent.
Objective Test- would a reasonable person believe they had consent.

First Degree Murder

purposeful, premeditated deliberate killing

Second Degree Murder

Purposeful, but not premeditated

Voluntary Manslaughter

sudden intense passion after adequate provocation

Involuntary Manslaughter

unintended as a result of an unlawful act.

Homicide Continuum

Murder (1st and 2nd)<-Manslaughter (voluntary and Voluntary)<-Negligent Homicide<-Accident

Preparation Solicitation

mere acts of preparation, failing to lead directly or proximately to the consummation of the intended crime, do not constitute solicitation


an agreement between 2 or more people to engage in a course of criminal behavior or a single crime
No merger doctrine- robbery and conspiracy can be charged at the same time.

Accessorial Liability

requires proof that the secondary party intended to promote or facilitate the specific offense for which the prosecution seeks to hold him accountable.

Mens Rea of Conspiracy

Person is guilty of conspiracy of a crime if he act with the purpose to promote or facilitate its commission


punishes anyone who deliberately encourages someone else to commit a crime.

When is Merger Doctrine used


NOT in conspiracy

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